Few songwriters have attained singular independent status as Terry Allen (John Prine and Warren Zevon comes to mind.) Since the wild-and-wooly 70’s the Texas legend has been creating his own quirky variety of country music pulling from many of the same West Texas inspirations as his fellow Lubbockites Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock, though to less popular acclaim. Though Allen is well=known to roots music fans willing to dig past the surface and can count as fans Bobby Bare, Sturgill Simpson, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Little Feat, David Byrne, Doug Sahm, Ricky Nelson, and Lucinda Williams, all of whom have covered his songs.
To bring in the new year, January 24, 2020, to be exact, Terry Allen will release “Just Like Moby Dick” the reported “spiritual successor to his 1979 masterstroke Lubbock (on everything.)”
“Just Like Moby Dick” will be Allen’s first release of new songs since 2013’s “Bottom of the World,” and will feature the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Lucinda) and stunning vocal turns from Shannon McNally, as well as co-writes with Joe Ely, Dave Alvin, and writer, actress, and artist Jo Harvey Allen, and Terry’s wife.
Terry also shares keyboard duties with his son Bukka Allen, who also plays accordion and piano. Pedal steel master and de facto Panhandle bandleader Lloyd Maines contributes slide guitar and dobro, while Richard Bowden brings his characteristically kinetic and lyrical fiddle; both musicians have appeared on every Allen album since “Lubbock (on everything).” The brilliant Charlie Sexton, plays guitar, sings and co-produced the record with Terry at Austin’s Arlyn Studios. Drummer Davis McLarty, a Mystery Band mainstay since Human Remains (1996) is joined by more recent rhythm section additions Glenn Fukunaga (bass) and Brian Standefer (cello). Terry’s other son Bale Allen sits in on djembe on “Abandonitis.”
See the album trailer and hear “City of Vampires” and “Death of the Last Stripper” below.
“Just Like Moby Dick” tracklist:
1. Houdini Didn’t Like the Spiritualists (feat. Shannon McNally)
3. Death of the Last Stripper
4. All That’s Left Is Fare-Thee-Well (feat. Charlie Sexton)
5. Pirate Jenny
6. American Childhood I: Civil Defense
7. American Childhood II: Bad Kiss
8. American Childhood III: Little Puppet Thing
9. All These Blues Go Walkin’ By (feat. Shannon McNally)
10. City of the Vampires (feat. Kru Allen and Shannon McNally)
11. Harmony Two (feat. Shannon McNally)
12. Sailin’ On Through